It’s so hard to be stuck.
To be overwhelmed…exhausted…paralyzed by all that you cannot keep up with.
But underneath all of the feelings of hopelessness and discouragement, there’s still a part of you who wants to feel better.
So you look into making some changes.
It starts with a quick Google search…
“How to get more organized”…” How to heal from hoarding”…” How to change my bad habits”…
You pull up a few articles (that may even be how you found yourself here – if so, hello and welcome! 👋)
As you read through them, you start to see a common theme – “how-to’s” filled with motivational phrases. The same phrases that have painted the walls of high school locker rooms for decades…
“Slow and steady wins the race”…
“Success is a series of small wins”…
“Small changes make all the difference”…
I can see your shoulders slumping and eyes rolling right now…
I know they’re cliche, and to be honest – you’ve probably heard them so much they’ve likely worn out their welcome when it comes to the motivating department.
But here’s where I really need you to hear me out.
Small changes truly do matter most.
I know this because I’ve seen it, and I continue to see it with each and every wonderful client I work with.
We have seen people just like you make miraculous transformations in their lives, and it starts with the smallest of changes.
But I know it’s not easy. It never is. It’s all a process, and we are here to guide you through it.
So let’s shed some light on why small changes matter so much, and show you how they can truly transform your life.
The SHiFTⓇ Is A Series Of Small Changes
Here’s the thing. There’s no magic cure to instantly transform your life or declutter your space.
There’s no secret that will automatically rid you of your chronic disorganization or ADHD.
But there’s a method that can help. You just have to put forth the work and commit to the process.
While we work to declutter and organize your space, we simultaneously do the “behind the curtain” work on your life as a whole – zeroing in on the small changes that lead to lifelong transformation.
If you’re new here, SHiFT® represents the aspects of life that are greatly impacted by chronic disorganization.
i am deserving
Each letter acts as a compass guiding you to where you want to be and grounding you in what it means to lead a deserving life.
And you want to know the key to all of it?
Making small changes.
Small Changes Matter
It’s true. And the proof is in the pudding (now I’m stuck on the cute phrases, aren’t I?)
But in all seriousness – the science is there to back it up.
Lasting transformation is built on “simple and sustainable changes” – aka the little things, and over time, those little things add up.
In my new book, Making The SHiFTⓇ : True Stories of How People Affected by Chronic Disorganization Learn to Live a Deserving Life I share many stories of clients who have overcome great obstacles and truly transformed their lives, and it’s the small changes that ultimately made the biggest difference.
One client’s story that is close to my heart is that of Hank.
Hank was very apprehensive when we first started working together, and understandably so. He had struggled for many years to develop and maintain relationships and had been avoiding social situations and interactions out of shame. Because of that, he became withdrawn from everyone around him, and to fill that void, he found comfort in isolating and accumulating stuff.
This greatly affected the social part of his life, which in turn had a negative impact on his self-worth.
Can you relate?
As we worked together on transforming his home into a livable space, we also uncovered the root of what brought him to that point – his need for social connection. Although it took years of work, Hank made small changes throughout the entire process and nurtured those changes in a way that led him to a life surrounded by those he loves.
Hank’s story is one of many that shows how small and seemingly insignificant changes are what lead to monumental shifts in a person’s life and well-being.
How To Hone In On Small Changes
Just like the cliche sayings, it’s one thing to say something and another to put it to action. It’s so easy to look at the big picture or end goal and say “Alright! Enough is enough. This is my goal, this is what I want, I want to change, let’s get after it! Just do it!”
The problem is – “just do it” never works. Even if you gain some momentum from the get-go, it’s common to quickly burn out and fall back to square one.
So here are some tips (that actually work) to help focus on the small changes – and make them stick.
1. Make note of what’s working and what’s not.
Go through each letter of SHiFT (social, health, i am deserving, financial, and time) and write out where you currently stand versus where you’d like to be.
Tip: don’t let this bring you down. This is not meant to discourage you by pointing out how far you are from where you want to be – it’s simply a measure of where you’re yet to go.
Let it be a gauge to show the aspects of life that need a little more love & attention.
2. Consistency, not perfection.
Repeat after me: “Perfect does not exist, perfect does not exist!”
We all know this, yet many of us still expect it. Whenever we go to make a change, we think we need to follow each step of the process without fault, and as soon as we slip up, we’ve set ourselves back or have to completely start over.
Or even worse – the fear and anxiety of knowing you won’t be able to do it perfectly holds you back from trying at all.
Remember, this is real life. No one is perfect, and everyone struggles.
Things are always going to come up. Wrenches will be thrown into your spokes, curve balls will come flying when you least expect them. But the small habits you build upon can serve as an anchor to keep you grounded.
If you fall a bit off track, pat yourself on the back and say “This is normal, this is part of the process, and it’s ok. Now, let’s move forward” and go back to what you wrote out in #1. Use it as a reminder of what actions will lead you closer to the SHiFT® you want to see.
There’s no doubt that you will falter numerous times through the process (in fact, it’s guaranteed), but if you consistently course-correct and reflect on where you are and where you want to be, you’ll be amazed at the changes you start to see.
3. Simplify your tools.
Sometimes half the battle is sorting out your thoughts enough to even know where to start.
To-do lists are great, and your brain really does love them. It loves the control over chaos, and it can really calm the anxiety you have from overwhelm. But it can also be too much of a good thing, especially when you start spending more time making lists than you do working on checking things off of them.
Before you know it, you have a list that lists out which lists to follow (sound familiar?).
Time to simplify.
Sort through your collection of planners and yellow pads and try your best to narrow it down to one or two.
Find a structure that works for you to start tackling tasks and building habits.
A great tool to use is a visual timer app to have on your phone or computer as you’re working on something. You can write out tasks, assign them a time length, and check them off when you’re finished (hello, dopamine rush 😃).
And remember what we’re focusing on – small changes. Keep it simple.
Is the sink overflowing with dirty dishes? The task as a whole may feel too daunting, so set a timer for 10 minutes, and start washing 1 dish at a time. Don’t feel any urgency to complete it all in that time frame, just complete what you can. When the time is up, if you feel like continuing, set the timer for another 10 minutes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed again, take a break and walk away with compassion. Schedule another 10-minute session for a time when you feel ready.
These small sessions will add up, and over time you will feel empowered to take on more.
4. Celebrate small wins.
This one is huge.
Each and every time you accomplish something, no matter how small, I want you to get really excited about it.
Maybe you set up bins to place belongings in at the end of each day instead of letting them collect on the counter. WIN!
Or maybe you conquered a little more than half of the dirty dishes…that’s a win too!
Celebrate it! Shout it out into the air…silently scream it to yourself…dance it out. Do whatever it is that gets your heart racing and mind saying “yessss!”
The more you build yourself up, the bigger impact you have on “i am deserving” – the heart of what supports and influences your SHiFT® from fragmentation to wholeness.
5. End each day with gratitude.
I may have shared this with you before, and there’s a reason why.
Gratitude is a large part of what fuels positive change.
When you take the time to name the things that you are grateful for, you’re inviting peace and serenity into your life. Even when your life feels chaotic and out of control, there is always something to be grateful for.
This doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel sadness or frustration for your situation. It simply means you’re deserving of inviting bits of joy into your life, and by actively naming those joyful things, you’re reminding yourself of what’s important.
Before you go to bed, write 3 things that went well that day. Why at night? Because even if you had a really challenging or downright awful day, taking time to find the good moments will keep you looking at the glass half-full. It keeps you hopeful. And it contributes to the small changes that make all the difference.
The Big Picture
If there’s one thing you take away from this blog today, I hope it’s that you realize real, lasting change can happen for you – and it can be done by starting small.
You have the power to do this. I believe in you, just as I’ve believed in each one of my clients, and I’ll be here rooting for you.
But if you’re ever feeling unsure of how to move forward, I’d love to help show you the way.
Schedule a free call with me, and let’s chat about how we can SHiFT® your life – one small change at a time.